Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
Like other great capital cities, Wellington can lay claim to having the best cultural and artistic venues in the country. Visit the national museum where interactive exhibitions celebrate the Māori people. Packed with evocative imagery, the City Gallery reflects a more modern palette. But the city’s colorful side comes out when you have a glass of wine on Cuba Street, or walk through the sumptuous nature at the Botanic Garden. Take a moment and unwind in this spectacular capital.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Wellington Cable Car
Space Place at Carter Observatory
Weta Cave Workshop Tour
City Gallery Wellington
Wellington Botanic Garden
New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa is found in the east of the city by Waitangi Park. Photography exhibitions showcase the cultural development of the country through striking images. The museum also has a nature zone delivers with innovative presentations of the differing landscapes of New Zealand. A celebration of the cultural importance of the Māori people ensure you’ll be in no rush to leave.
Operating in the heart of Wellington, this cable car ride runs between Lambton Quay and the suburb of Kelburn. A one-way trip takes all but a few minutes but rewards you with views of the city that don’t exist anywhere else. Hop off to visit the Botanic Gardens as you rise over Wellington.
Learn about Māori astrology and New Zealand’s starry skylines at this visually delighting observatory, which bulges with insight and entertainment. Galleries and multimedia exhibits feature interactive activities with planetariums and full-dome offers, giving you a full experience of the night sky. Explore galaxies, aliens, and space travel in one day at this special place.
A 500-acre space set beside a reservoir, Zealandia is a fenced ecosanctuary with an ambitious vision to restore Wellington’s valley forest to its pre-humankind state. A few miles west of Wellington, this project is dedicated to only including flora and fauna native to the region in a quest to bring it back to its original state.
The Weta Caves is a world leading workshop in design, effects, creativity and filmmaking. Here, you can explore the props, costumes, and 3D models that made The Lord of the Rings so special. A visit will give you behind the scenes access to movie processes at various stages of production. Take a workshop and see some of the processes and intense collaborations behind the scenes.
Located in Civic Square, this gallery focuses largely on contemporary and modern art from across the world. Whether visual art, design or architecture, there’s something fresh for everyone here—this gallery is designed to feed your curiosity.
Wellington’s hooked harbour may be the best spot to enjoy an afternoon stroll and picnic. Enjoy public sculptures and harbourside views of a city that rolls away with the green hills. Rent a bike and take a ride port side, stopping off as you wish to enjoy a bite to eat or a quick museum.
Wellington’s city centre is home to one final surprise: 26 hectares of botanical gardens that include 3,000 roses, a sculpture trail, and Otari-Wilton’s Bush. Hybrids and cultivator plants native only to New Zealand blossom in several gardens that produce gorgeous seasonal displays. Paths in spring are particularly lovely—walk between native trees that are now protected.
The executive wing of New Zealand’s parliament building is named after its resemblance to a beehive. At ten storeys tall, the "Beehive" is an impressive sight, with its exterior layers ascending to a height of 72 metres. Enjoy a tour of this historic building and don’t miss out on the wondrous interior.
Overlooking Wellington, Mount Kaukau is perfect for a lovely hike that takes you 445 metres above sea level, and rewards you with forested hills and views of the harbourfront. Pack a picnic and take some time to admire the journey you have just taken.
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